Your dog definitely remembers that awful thing you did in front of it

Sunday 27 November 2016 15:30

Your dog remembers that time you dropped cake in his dog food, sniffed it after he got a brief nibble after it, ran it under the cold tap and thought it'd be fine to eat anyway.

A new study in Current Biology shows that dogs, like humans, remember prior events, even if they aren't important or meaningful at the time.

The study suggests that dogs possess an "episodic" memory similar to a humans.

There were a few challenges to conducting the study, as Claudia Fugazza from the MTA-ELTE Comparative Ethology Research Group, told Gizmodo:

The study of episodic-like memory in non-human animals is particularly challenging because it implies assessing a mental state: incidental encoding... of an event (i.e. remembering stuff that doesn’t seem to be important) when it is not known that it is important to remember it.

Most scientists agree that incidental encoding can be assumed if the recall test is unexpected, because in this case the subject does not expect to be required to remember the event later, thus it does not know the event is important.

In a "do as I do" test, in which dogs were commanded at random points to perform various human actions through recall, performing actions they had seen, but never trained in before, through the vague command:

Do it.

Episodic memory has been linked to self-awareness - the recognition of oneself as an entity separate from other beings.

It's likely your dog is a special snowflake.

And it remembers.

HT Gizmodo

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